Symptoms of GERD

November 12, 2012

Symptoms of GERD

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a medical condition whereby stomach acid travels back and into the oesophagus sometimes for long enough to cause damage to it. The most common of the symptoms of GERD is heartburn, although there are several more, which can also develop.

The difference between heartburn and GERD

It is easy to get confused as to whether you are suffering from heartburn or from GERD. The key point to remember is that heartburn is a symptom and GERD is a condition. While heartburn, similarly to GERD can be caused by refluxed stomach acid touching the lining of the oesophagus and causing a burning sensation in the chest, it can also be caused by a number of other conditions such as diabetes, scleroderma, some medications or certain lifestyle factors. GERD is condition that occurs when the stomach acid has been in contact with oesophagus so long that it has actually caused physical damage. There are further symptoms of GERD, that are typically more severe than heartburn, last longer and occur more often. It is common for everyone to suffer from heartburn every so often and does not necessarily the individual is suffering from GERD. If heartburn starts to occur more than twice a week or very severely, it may be an indication of a more serious problem such as GERD.

Signs of heartburn

Heartburn associated with GERD is a pain or discomfort occurring in the middle of the chest, often moving towards the throat. Further common symptoms of GERD include the feeling that there is a piece of food stuck in the throat, a choking sensation or a feeling as though the throat is tight, an acidic or sour taste in the mouth, difficulty swallowing and chest pain. Someone suffering from GERD may suffer from one or a combination of these symptoms and they often vary in severity.

Some more of the less common signs or symptoms of GERD may include a sore throat, a hoarse throat particularly in the morning after waking up, coughing, difficulty breathing which may look similar to asthma and bad breath. Whilst heartburn is the most common of the symptoms of GERD, it is possible to be suffering from the condition without experiencing any heartburn. Symptoms may appear regularly or constantly and may vary. It is important to remember that is possible to suffer from heartburn without having this condition and for those who suffer occasionally; over the counter medications should be enough to effectively relieve it. If this kind of medication doesn’t work, heartburn begins to occur more regularly or you notice any of the other symptoms of GERD, seek advice and treatment from your doctor. Treatment for GERD is available and in most cases very successful in completely relieving associated symptoms.


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